On behalf of Deputy Chief Officer Greenfield and Acting Assistant Commissioner Hollier, Rural Fire Service
We would like to take this opportunity to thank, acknowledge and commend, each and every one of our frontline Rural Fire Service (RFS) Volunteers, Rural Fire Brigades, Groups and RFS staff for the concerted efforts being made across Queensland.
The amount of time, dedication and effort, being exhibited across our RFS workforce, during very trying fire behaviour conditions, is extraordinary and we wish to offer our heartfelt thanks to all of the RFS across the state.
The commitment, often at the expense of opportunities for paid work, time with family and friends is acknowledged and again our gratitude for giving up this up freely to do the work you are and have been doing during the current fire activity.
We are saddened by the news that several of our own RFS volunteers have tragically lost their homes whilst defending the homes of others in the community. At this time, we are providing whatever support we can, and we recognise the RFBAQ who have stepped up to support our volunteer members.
As we continue to experience fire weather potential, we aim to support you to continue to work collaboratively, and remain cohesively focused on our safety, support, our ongoing firefighting activity.
This is a timely reminder that we cannot do this alone. The collaborative efforts of Fire and Rescue, Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, Department of Resources, HQ Plantations and all other land management and Emergency Services should also be acknowledged.
A request to the National Resource Centre has been made to provide a measure of support capability to assist with fatigue, ahead of the summer period. This support is by no means to take control or exclude Brigades, rather it will provide opportunities for respite and relief before other jurisdictional areas commence experiencing their own fire activity.
It’s in this time of need, within our communities, that the RFS Volunteer ethos of dedication and commitment to each other, family and community really shines.
Your individual commitment, dedication and professionalism is valued and appreciated.
As we move into the next phase of challenging fire weather, we encourage you to remain operationally focused on your own safety and the protection of life and property.
As we continue to respond and manage fires, we are also working to develop the future RFS Queensland (RFSQ) and are working with the reform team to progress how we operate, this includes beginning to recruit the new staff to better support our frontline and working on the procurement of new fleet. We are also working on an RFS concept of operations, that will spell out the focus of RFS into the future. This will be ready for consultation soon.
It is important that we as a RFS team, continue to remain united and focused as the Fire Season continues.
Again, a heartfelt thanks and acknowledgement of each one of you, it is an honour to work with you do every day.
Joanne Greenfield Deputy Chief Officer Rural Fire Service